Pivot Pong is a interview project conducted on behalf of my interview with Pivotal Labs in the Cambridge, MA office. It is a fictitious app centered around giving Pivots (employees of Pivotal Labs) an opportunity to play table tennis together and grow as team members.

  • Project Duration: November 2017 – December 2017
  • Project Type: Skill demonstration exercise
  • Designed For: Pivotal Labs
  • My Contributions: UX and UI Design
  • Programs Used: Sketch, Adobe Illustrator, UX Pin, Balsamiq
  • Website: https://pivotal.io/labs

Overview

Why It Was Created

Approach for this project

As you can see from the chart, we are able to move freely between design and feedback for smaller project tweaks. If the problem is more complicated, we will go to research and analysis, then to design.

Research and Analysis

Whiteboard challenge

Our user persona

Inspirations

Features I liked

Many apps offer the ability to rematch players who they have previously connected with.

Players in the top three rankings are given gold, silver and bronze medals.

One app has a leaderboard which actively displays your rank, compared with the top leaders.

Michael Tinglin’s app has a messaging feature, which I find extremely helpful for users who may be in different parts of the office and need to communicate pre game.

Geolocation is a useful feature, as it tells users within the office if they can be matched with that person or not (based on if they are actively in the area).

Features I saw to improve

There is no feature in game to determine score and who is serving.

There is no rulebook to inform users of how to play correctly.

No indication if users are available for a rematch or not.

I did not care for the menu bar on the bottom of several apps shown here.

Design

Our MVP

Connects users who want to play with each other instantly

Ranking across all Pivotal offices

Provides leaderboards

Gameifys the experience with in game rewards

Profiles and short bios tell users about each other

Keep track of the score and who is serving in app

Rulebook and in game rule enforcement

Sticky notes

Information Architecture

Information Architecture considerations

Home icon and hamburger are intentionally removed when player is searching for a partner (and also when users are involved in a match). this greatly reduces the chance of accidentally leaving a match.

Red and green dots indicate when a player is active or inactive.

Score is kept in app so players know when to switch and when to serve.

Users can message each other if either one is running late.

IOS Wireframe samples

App logo

UI Considerations

Primary color used is Pivotal’s
bluish green color

Shades of blue is used for button
shadows and background shading

White is used for the icon colors

Pivotal’s main green color is
also used to indicate go/proceed

Blue indicates miscellaneous tasks

Red indicates to cancel

App design samples

How the app works

Find opponent

Pre match screens

If the table is in use, you can put yourself on a wait list until it is available.

If you have already played one match (best 3 out of 5 games) and someone else is waiting in the queue, you will have the option to get back in line.

If the person you requested a rematch from is no longer in the area (ie visitors from other offices), you will receive this notification.

Match with someone

In game score tracker

Continue playing (or not)

Victory or loss screen appears post game

Screen which follows if another game is requested

Post game options

Feedback

Well received features

In game rule enforcement was well received, as it reminds users to switch servers during games.

The leaderboard layout was well liked, as it shows both the top ranking players and your current ranking.

The geolocation feature was also well taken, as it prevents errors when users are traveling (ie matching with someone visiting another office). It also opens up players to show up at the current office they are visiting.

Users benefit from being reminded when to switch

The leaderboard layout was well recieved

Knowing when people are (or are not) in the area helps!

Improvements

Pivots said the rematch feature would likely get abused; once people randomly match with their friends, they will only hit the rematch button to match with that person.

The messaging feature was not regarded as necessary; they stated that it would likely get used very little, if at all.

The in game scoring was regarded as cumbersome and unnecessary; Pivots would be too involved with the game to bother to keep score.

Pivots said the rematch feature would likely get abused; once people randomly match with their friends, they will only hit the rematch button to match with that person.

The messaging feature was not regarded as necessary; they stated that it would likely get used very little, if at all.

The in game scoring was regarded as cumbersome and unnecessary; Pivots would be too involved with the game to bother to keep score.

Future Iterations

Future iterations

I would remove the “rematch” feature. This would get reportedly abused, and removing it would not only remove this issue, but it would also eliminate the need for the “available/not available” feature, as well as geolocation.

I would consider removing the messaging feature. This would be dependent on how feasible it is to implement from the developer’s end, as well as how often it is used. This can be added in the beta version and it’s use would be measured based on heatmap software.

In game score keeping may be removed as it is reported to be too much of a distraction from the game itself.  The advantage here is that removing it is the least distracting option, while the disadvantage is that there is no way to enforce in game reminders of when to switch players or the score, so that responsibility is up to the players. A/B testing can be used to determine the best course of option.

Pre game rules, as opposed to in game rule enforcement. This feature is lost as to eliminate the in game score tracker, so players are expected to remember the rules and their own score

In game screen is simplified to simply show the players, the timer and tell the game when the game is finished.

Since everything would be reported manually, players must input which person won the game.

Future steps

What I got out of this project

How to design and pitch an app concept for a potential employer.

Implementing a strong, logical thought process in the form of information architecture.

Asking for, and implementing useful feedback.

Further utilizing my Sketch and Balsamiq skills.